While most people love a bit of the hard stuff (we’re strictly referring to alcohol here), some people don’t drink. These heroes spend less, embarrass themselves on a significantly smaller number of occasions and wake up without hangovers. Plus, they all do this while looking as if they are drinking, thanks to technological advancements in what are known as non-alcoholic cocktails. If you want to get in on this sorcery, or you’re a teetotaller already, check out The Handbook’s guide to 5 of the best bars for virgin cocktails.
Trader Vic's London
Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
What: Still sippin’ Mai Tai’s sitting courtside…
Why: Even Jay Z loves a Mai Tai cocktail (see the ‘Empire State of Mind’ lyrics above). Trader Vic’s is the home of the original Mai Tai recipe, but they’ve also become dab hands at the non-alcoholic version too. This is a great spot for a date and the lack of liquor means you won’t embarrass yourself…too much. We recommend the Puerto Principe, which is heavy on the pineapple – and we all know what they say about pineapple (wink, wink).
Where: 22 Park Lane, London
What: Asian inspired (non) Alcohol
Why: One of the perks of indulging in mocktails is that you spend considerably less money and therefore, there’s more left to spend on your post-night-out cheesy chips. Dishoom offers up insanely cheap, yet still very tasty, mocktails so is great for a night of guilt-free drinking. Our favourite is the Virgin Bhang Lasi, which includes candied fennel, coconut milk and ginger.
Where: 12 Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9FB
What: (Shore) Ditch the cocktails
Why: Shoreditch is known for its opposition to all things mainstream, and sorry pals, but alcohol is just so mainstream. Thankfully for hipsters like myself, there is Loungelover, which offers up a great range of mocktails. For lovers of all things fruity, we recommend the Passionata, a mix of raspberries, passion fruit, apple and orange!
Where: 1 Whitby Street, London, E1 6JU
Peg & Patriot
What: Booze-free boozing
Why: The gang at Peg & Patriot have really stepped up the non-alcoholic cocktail game. They distil the flavours of the alcohol into water and mix them with tonic, basically creating an alcohol flavoured sugar. This is perfect for people who do drink, but just fancy a night off from the hard stuff…or teetotallers who are thinking of going over to the dark side.
Where: Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
What: London’s first non-alcoholic cocktail bar
Why: Offering up a menu of vegan bar snacks and some great non-alcoholic cocktails, this Notting Hill spot is sure to bring some Redemption to London’s liquor-drinking sinners. Our favourite mocktail on offer was the Coco-Rita, a lime juice, agave and coconut concoction that is served over ice and with a salt rim. The perfect way to wash away the sins of last weekend…
Where: 6 Chepstow Road, London W2 5BH